According to Eurogas' estimates, total gas consumption in Europe has witnessed a drop in demand for the second year running with power generation the worst affected. Total demand was down 2.2% in 2012 in addition to the 10% decline in 2011.
Initial estimates for 2012 put gas consumption in the EU at 5,036 TWh GCV, equivalent to 466 bcm. A slightly higher demand for heating in the residential and commercial sector of the EU somewhat limited the total decline, compared with 2011. This is largely due to lower temperatures during the heating season and the cold snap in February. Even though total gas demand rose in some countries, the continuing economic crisis and the special situation in the power sector took their toll on overall gas consumption in 2012.
On the gas supply side, indigenous production remained the largest source of gas for EU customers, making up 34% of the total net supplies in 2012. It nevertheless decreased by 5% to 1,756 TWh (163 bcm), due to the low demand and ongoing decline in the mature production basins. The main external sources of pipeline supply were Russia at 23% and Norway at 21%. Algeria, with 9%, supplied both pipeline gas and LNG. More than ten countries delivered the balance of 13% as LNG, including Qatar, which remains Europe’s leading LNG provider. Factors such as the drop in gas demand and the strong competition for LNG in the global market, especially from Japan, led to a decrease in LNG imports.
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